another great guy from the golden generation of Yugoslav and Serbian basketball (Djordjevic, Paspalj, Bodiroga, Savic… to name a few…) has done his farewell to basketball and moved on…
Some of them become coaches, some managers, some even go to politics, but Vlade decided to simply continue what he was doing already – to help people in need… this time to dedicate all his time to this though…
His friends from all over the world promised to help, and came to Belgrade to prove it… On photos above you can see some of them – Chris Webber (claimed himself to be first Serbian black dude – Kristijan Veberovic :P), Glen Rice, Scott Pollard…
Thank you Vlade!
And thank god for modern technologies… How would I explain my kids what a great guy he is, if there was no video? 🙂
text below is from B92.net
Divac celebrates end of professional career
23 September 2007 | 11:47 | Source: Beta
BELGRADE — Vlade Divac has celebrated his official retirement from professional basketball in front of 10,000 fans in Belgrade.
Vlade Divac bids farewell to his fans (Tanjug)
“I wish to thank you for a huge and selfless support you have been giving me throughout my basketball career that began here in Serbia and now ends here as well,” Divac told the crowd yesterday from a concert stage placed outside the National Parliament building.
The former member of Serbia’s national basketball team and sixteen-year NBA veteran has launched the “You Can Too” campaign, set to last four months, aimed at raising funds and providing housing for refugees and displaced persons in Serbia.
“Today , the most important match of my life begins. With your help, the biggest and best team is looking to score a vital victory and help those deprived of their land, home, and friends who are now living in conditions unworthy of human beings,” said Divac.
The farewell ceremony was attended by his former national team fellow players Aleksandar Đorđević, Predrag Danilović, Zoran Savić and Žarko Paspalj.
Divac’s NBA co-players, including Chris Webber, Scott Pollard and Glen Rice came to support their colleague, along with Divac’s former coaches Dušan Ivković, Duško Vujošević and Gregg Popovich.
“Vlade always has friends by his side. I will do my best to help him raise the money for the cause and I hope he will win this game as well,” Aleksandar Đorđević said.
Webber also addressed the crowd, saying “good evening” in Serbian.
“Vlade Divac has a heart of gold apart from being a great player. He is the best man I have ever met,” Webber said.
The concert held in his honor featured performances of numerous bands and artists form Serbia and abroad, including Van Gogh, Aleksandra Kovač, Darko Rundek, Esma Redžepova, Šaban Bajramović, and special guests African artists Mori Cante and Raste.
A short movie was played from a huge screen in which a score of Divac’s friends and colleagues praised his efforts and career, including NBA stars Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Bobby Jackson, Yao Ming, coach Phil Jackson, rapper Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, actor Billy Crystal and many others.
On Sunday, Divac travels to his hometown of Prijepolje to officially open the Vlade Divac Museum, an exhibition that chronicles a basketball career that began in the small southern town when he was a tall 12-year-old boy dwarfing his teachers, and eventually ended in the NBA.
The museum will display European jerseys and basketball-related equipment; practice gear and official NBA uniforms from the Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Hornets, and Sacramento Kings, medals won in international competitions, newspaper and magazine articles from all over the world; game footage, photos, letters from fans and children, and a special section dedicated to his humanitarian efforts.
“My goal for the museum is to show young people today that you don’t have to be born in a big city to become successful,” said Divac.
“Hard work, confidence, and respect are the keys to building a life and thriving professionally. I hope the museum illustrates this message and that the children in Prijepolje learn from it.”